I spent most of the afternoon in the fabled land of the first floor. This let me see some of the major exhibitors I had not managed to check in on. There’s still a lot to go for tomorrow, but I am making good progress seeing what I’m interested in.
Palmetto State Armory: The big news from PSA is their $300 gen3 Glock. After handling it, I can confirm it’s a Glock. It uses roll pins in a couple places to hold in the rails / locking block, but I don’t consider that especially problematic – how often are you pulling those out, short of a trigger change? The grip texture is fantastic, but the frame is otherwise somewhat no frills, especially compared to the Polymer80 frames. I think this gun is going to be a big hit for them, and may even see wider FLGS distribution.
I did not get a chance to see the JAKL. I might try again tomorrow.
MDT: I recently purchased an MDT chassis (still haven’t shot it yet!), and was curious about their new XRS stock. I’m not their target market (which I think is hunters), but I took some pictures in case you’re interested.
Sylvan Arms: Sylvan Arms was showing off their gen3 folding stock adapter. We went over some of the improvements (flatter top, lowered hinge, some bits beefed up) and I went hands-on with it. Long story made short, it seems like it works, and would protect you from the bolt extension impaling you if you shot it while open. I feel a little bad for Sylvan; they got a lot of flak for the appearance of copying the Law Tactical folding adapter, but it does seem like they’re trying to do their own thing. At a substantially lower cost than Law Tactical, I think they’re worth a look. Their long-term problem is that the new generation of BCGs that don’t use buffer tubes are rendering these folding mechanisms somewhat obsolete.
Presma: I really only stopped in at Presma because I bought a cheapo Chinese-made handguard from them and the anodizing job (done in the USA) was pretty damned excellent. The handguard wasn’t horrible, either. The rep in the booth told me that their skeletonized braces were big sellers, as were anything with a neon anodizing job. Their reaction rod clone seemed well-done, with actual flats for a vise.
Quarter Circle 10: I stopped in at QC10 to thank them for sending me some parts to fix my ever-suffering Glock-lower PCC. Their big new product for 2020 is their Sig P320 lower.
Shadow Systems: I had vaguely heard of Shadow Systems through some sort of shared post on Facebook where Bill Blowers was using one. As someone who’s up to like… six or seven Glocks, half with optics, I’m always game to hear about how someone’s improved that platform. PSA took one approach – make it cheap. Zev took another – make it expensive and gucci. Shadow Systems seems to have taken the middle approach.
The person I talked to at Shadow Systems showed me their new MR920 model, and even compared it against the current MR918. I think it’s priced around $1100 MSRP, but they made a lot of very good design decisions with it:
- Better protected slide release
- A vastly improved beaver tail (seriously, it’s a fantastic design)
- Improved texturing
- Better thumb shelf, with texturing.
- Flat trigger (with a good, but not amazing pull)
- A patented improved optics cut that is more universally compatible – and DEEP.
- Rear sight is about as far back as it will go.
The focus right now is duty. They have a lifetime warranty where, if you ever use your gun in a legal defensive use and have it seized as evidence, they will send you a new one. They want people to carry their gun, and that is their way of sharing their confidence that it will work when needed. I encouraged them to make a version for competition, and they did note that was something they were interested in. Definitely a company to watch!
Rescomp: I’m a competition shooter, and the South African company of Rescomp makes a lot of good product. They showed me a new race holster that would better accommodate more platforms (it has configurable length, and is somewhat beefed up), a pair of PCC mag holders, and their new “bullets out” pistol mag holder. They also had a duty holster with level 2 retention via thumb release – it’s configurable in the sense that you can buy additional shells for different handguns rather than buy different holsters.
Kestrel: Kestrel’s newest product is the HUD device that links up to the Kestrel 5700. You can mount it on your gun, and then your spotter can just laser targets for you, with the dope popping up on the HUD. The device is compact, and the mount folds for easier transport. I’d say that it’s priced high-ish, but realistically, everything is priced high-ish in the long range world.
Burris: Last, but definitely not least, was Burris. I have good news and bad news.
Bad news first: the RT-8 scope line has been indefinitely delayed. This is absolutely devastating news to me, because the RT-8 dual focal plane scope looked like it was going to be a really dominant choice for 3 gun. I politely encouraged them to get themselves together and figure this out, because I simply could not see how it could be a marketing failure.
Good news: their reflex sight line is looking MUCH more coherent, and the Fastfire4 was on display. The Fastfire 4 has a bigger window, switchable reticles (including 3 MOA and 11 MOA dots), and can be converted to a closed optic via a removable weather shield. This is one excellent feature set, and it LOOKED like it was the same footprint as the Fastfire3.
The rest of their “red dot” sights have sane names and make sense. RT-1 is the reflex sight; RT-3 is the prism sight. There’s a Fastfire RD that appears to be exactly the same as the RT-1, so they didn’t quite nail it, but they’re getting there. Neither of them seemed all that game-changing, but not every swing is a home run.